How to get financial aid to go to college

For Hispanic students applying to The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is really interested in opening its doors to the Hispanic Community.  They are committed to providing a comprehensive program of financial aid in order to ensure that the education they offer is accessible to students from diverse backgrounds.  During the academic year of 2014-2015, the University of Chicago awarded nearly $ 100 million in grants and scholarships to high school students.  That means, approximately 60 percent of students and families received financial aid and / or scholarships depending on their case.  One of them could be you!

The financial assistance is provided based on the financial need demonstrated by you. Once you apply for a “need-based aid”, it is calculated as the difference between the cost of the academic program and the value you and your family can contribute.  The decision to admit or not a student is not influenced by the student or family’s available financial resources or their ability to pay.  In other words, a student is accepted for his academic merit.  So, do not worry if the aid you requested is high.  Actually, the University of Chicago is committed to cover 100 percent of the financial need you demonstrated if they offer admission.

If you are an International student, you should consult the policy of financial support that applies to you.  For more details, you could visit their website about College Admissions.

In general, scholarships based on the financial need you demonstrated include federal funds and funds provided by the University of Chicago and other agencies of the State. This is why you do not need to pay back for your grant.  The University also offers student federal loans.  However, if you get one, you must reimburse it eventually.  Finally, they have multiple job offers under the study and work program, known glish as “work-study,” where you as a student work during the academic year to cover part of your educational costs.

Financial aid and Scholarship options

Merit Scholarships

If you are one of those accepted students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, participated in multiple extracurricular activities and demonstrated leadership and commitment to your community, you can apply to the scholarships for academic merit offered by the University of Chicago to a select number of students.  Although most scholarships are based on financial need demonstrated by each family, the Admissions Office chooses the beneficiaries of these scholarships regardless financial need.  

Scholarships awarded for academic merit are as follows:

  • University Scholarship: partial scholarships from $ 5,000 to $ 15,000.  These scholarships can be renewed for a period of up to four years.
  • Scholarships for public school students in Chicago: full tuition scholarship for a select number of students who graduated from the public school system in the city of Chicago.
  • Scholarships for police officers and firefighters’ children: full tuition scholarships to a select number of accepted students whose parents are currently police officers or firefighters.
  • The University also honors the finalists of the National Merit Scholarship program, with renewable scholarships from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000.

“Odyssey” scholarship

Thanks to a generous donation of $ 100 million from an alumnus of the University, the funds available for the financial aid program could be substantially increased.  Therefore, if you are an incoming student in the class of 2018 whose family has annual incomes less than $ 90,000, you will see your federal loans reduced or eliminated.

Real facts you should know:

  • Almost half of the students in the class of 2013 received financial aid from the “Odyssey” scholarship.  
  • Over 75 percent of these students had their loans fully replaced by scholarships.  
  • 36 percent of the 325 beneficiaries of the “Odyssey” scholarship belonging to the class 2013 are the first in their families to go to college.

“QuestBridge Program”

Fortunately, if you come from a low-income family and you are in the process of college admissions, you can count on the alliance the University of Chicago has with “QuestBridge”, a nationwide program designed to help students in this situation.  

The “QuestBridge” program stands out for its “National College Match” program:

  • As a student, you can choose and apply for admission to up to eight universities associated with the program.  
  • If you are accepted by a school associated to QuestBridge, you will receive a scholarship for four years.
  • This scholarship does not require student loans or financial contribution from your family.

Commitment of the University of Chicago

The more you find out about this University, the more you notice that:

  • They are committed to cover one hundred percent of the financial need demonstrated by your family.
  • They review the situation of each family individually to make sure that they have considered all the relevant circumstances before making a decision about your application for financial assistance.
  • They will not reduce the value of your financial aid during the four years as a student, unless the financial situation of your family changes the following year.
  • They will not forbid you to use the financial aid you received to live outside the bedrooms, or, in other words, “off-campus,” or to study abroad through the academic programs.
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